What makes startups successful? How do ecosystems help them grow? This is the million dollar question for investors, policy makers and entrepreneurs. Networks - who you know, who invested in you and who mentored you - are considered to play a major role. To understand this, we are currently working with Endeavor Insight and the UCL’s Big Data Institute to untangle which connections drive startup growth.
There are three gaps in our understanding of the ecosystems:
We expanded a novel method that Endeavor Insight already piloted in New York City, and busted various myths about tech entrepreneurs. We're now working on cracking the networks in the UK, starting with the Golden Triangle (London, Oxford and Cambridge).
In order to do this, we interviewed more than 600 founders of tech companies in London, Oxford and Cambridge and combined their inputs with big data sources. Using this data, we will create interactive maps that will show the web of connections between the tech companies. The connections include: mentorship, investments, inspirations, former employee spinouts, serial entrepreneurship.
We will release interactive network maps and a report on the key dynamics of tech entrepreneurs in London, Oxford and Cambridge in the summer of 2016.
This project is part of a large international initiative with the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network (GERN) and the Global Entrepreneurship week (GEW) to create the largest open-source database on entrepreneurship ecosystems. A total of 20 cities will be mapped by the end of 2016, including not only NYC and the Golden Triangle but also Toronto, Sao Paolo and Singapore.
We will create an open method guide to empower other cities to create entrepreneurship network maps. If you want to be one of the 100 cities mapped over the next five years, get in touch.
This project is funded by Nesta, University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Oxford Trust, UCL Big Data Institute, OBN and the Oxford Academic Health Science Network.
We also had great support from key partners including Tech City UK, Capital Enterprise and ideaSpace.